Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Many thanks to Pinoy Big Brother director Lauren Dyogi for giving me
full access to photograph the event.

* * *

Related link:

A very public circumcision - Manila Standard


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:56 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

merong hinimatay? that's what one of the picture tells.

April 02, 2008 11:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly a Filipino tradition to "look forward" to as a little boy.

April 02, 2008 11:27 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

summertime is tulian time! they look eager to get it done.

April 03, 2008 12:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of your Subic river memoir post. Remember the boys clutching guava leaves as they ran to the river? hehehe.

I'm just so thankful that my husband took care of our boys when they went through this phase. I think it's very important that parents are by their kids' side on these stages of their life. You know - parents of same gender. When I was still teaching, I had a ward whose parents separated for good. The mom was the one who had to leave the house, and went to the States. When my ward (a girl) had her period for the first time, it was her dad who bought the pads for her. Kinda awkward for the girl, she confided - how she wished for her mom to be attending to her needs. :(

April 03, 2008 12:55 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Bing, he fainted. And he was just getting a skin test to determine if he might be allergic to the anesthesia. :)

The procedure was those who had a tooth extracted by a dentist can immediately go to the section to wait to be circumcised, while those who hadn't have to undergo this test. The anesthesia used for tooth extraction is the same anesthetic used in circumcision.

April 03, 2008 5:49 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was one who didn't look forward to be circumcised, Cedsaid; I dreaded the thought ... hehehe.

Incidentally, the 10th photo inside the operating room -- the boy covering his face during the procedure wasn't embarrassed to be photographed; he was actually scared shitless ... hehehe.

I acted exactly the same way. I covered my face so I wouldn't see any part of the procedure.

April 03, 2008 5:54 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

According to the parents I've spoken to, Photo Cache, it now costs about 1200 pesos to get circumcised; hence, many parents started arriving to take advantage of this PBB free service as early as 1 am. And by 5-6am, the list of 100 was filled but many more arrived.

Various barangays also offer such similar free service but many parents and kids wanted to be a part of this event for its historical value due to the popularity of the Pinoy Big Brother TV show.

April 03, 2008 5:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oh, that's right, Rhoda. I ought to search for it. I forgot its title, though.

Some of the medical staff actually had to ask some mothers to leave the operating room because they were being "makulit." The mothers' nervousness also tend to stress out the staff and the patients alike ... hehehe.

April 03, 2008 6:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senor, pumila ka din ba? hahahaha.

April 03, 2008 6:36 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Tapos na si Senor nuon pang panahon ni Mahoma ... hehehe!

April 03, 2008 7:29 AM  

Blogger Kyels said...

What does it say on the banner? I'm assuming that it's an annual free checkup sponsored by a few companies. Haha!


April 03, 2008 8:48 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

Boy oh boy! Tuli seems to be a Pinoy traditon alongside with the Jewish counterpart. We have a Michaelangelo painting here of "the Creation of Man" where Father God reaches out to the naked Adam. A Pinoy church artist was commissioned by my husband to re-do the mural on the wall over our living area. It's really very good. However, when a group of Filipinos came over, they immediately remarked "Ay! hindi tuli!" Sabi ko, "Michaelangelo perhaps wasn't either..." but frowned on their ignorance of art :-).

April 03, 2008 9:54 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

Bakit walang picture yung housemate na nagpatuli? Naku naman, I have to wait for it pa tonight..hahaha :)

I witnessed a similar event in Real, Quezon a few years back. Sa seaside pa ginawa on a Good Friday. I think the fact that it was Good Friday made it conducive to having the procedure. Sabi nung albularyo, hindi daw duduguin masyado dahil si Kristo daw ang sasalo or something like that.

April 03, 2008 9:59 AM  

Blogger wysgal said...

Wow you got quite close and personal ... interesting photos. At first I thought they were lining up for some kind of prize, or just to see the inside of the house. Until I read the sign on the banner. =)

April 03, 2008 11:25 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

I'm sure most of these smiling boys were nervous as hell! I laugh at the photo of a boy in apple green shorts...reminds of my cousin after his circumcision. We devised a way to have his shorts look like a tent by putting a pencil under his shorts.:D I also tied a cord from his shorts to the window curtain so he could sit on the sofa without holding his shorts' crotch. hahaha My aunt finally convinced my cousin to wear a skirt for a few days.:D I imagine you had fun shooting these photos.

April 03, 2008 1:44 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Nice pictorial with a great storyline. Congrats! Well done!

Poor boys!
How many doctors for 100 boys?

April 03, 2008 7:41 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It was a concerted effort, Sidney, with Capitol Medical Colleges providing the entire medical staff (there were three operating rooms that were set up for this purpose).

Also, J. Chemie Lab., Inc. provided free post operation medication.

Thanks, Sidney!

April 03, 2008 8:29 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, it was indeed a fun shoot, Luna. For the most part, everyone was in a sociable mood -- both the boys and their parents. I guess, talking and interactine with other folks somehow relieve the nervous tension :)

Truth be told, Luna, if I could turn back the hands of time, I'd be more resolute in my conviction not to be circumcised. This should explain why I detested undergoing this typically Pinoy ritual.

When I moved to NYC, most of my friends and schoolmates weren't circumcised and they seemed to lead healthy and hygienic lives. As the Manila Standard article said,


There are in fact many doctors all over the world who are against the practice particularly neonatal circumcision (i.e., circumcising an infant upon delivery). According to them, circumcision violates the Golden Rule and the first tenet of the medical practice, which is “First, do no harm.” Others see circumcision as a form of mutilation, one that deprives people of a basic human right—the right to an intact body.


It also went on to say that ...


The only compelling argument that supports circumcision is hygiene. But then again, hygiene is a purely personal thing. One can be circumcised but continue to be a total slob anyway, or conversely, one can be uncircumcised but be very diligent about hygiene. Some experts cite medical benefits including lesser vulnerability to HIV infection. There is an ongoing debate on the issue, but in the end, it is really safer sexual practices that eliminate the risk of HIV transmission.


April 03, 2008 8:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks, Wysgal :)

April 03, 2008 8:39 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

This was just the coverage for the public service part, Cookie -- free circumcision for the first 100 patients offered by the PBB :)

April 03, 2008 8:40 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

As I've responded to Luna, Bernadette, I'm not completely a believer in circumcision. However, I would leave it to each one to make up their own decision on this matter.

April 03, 2008 8:45 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It's about free circumcision, Kyels. Is this ritual practiced in Malaysia?

April 03, 2008 8:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's widely practiced here; especially within the Malays b/c it's part of their law to be circumcised --- both male and female. We call it "sunat" over here. In rural areas some people celebrate the day when a boy is due to circumcision but right now I think it has died down since everyone does it at the clinic. As for the Chinese and Indian they hardly do it ( referring to males ) unless they want to.

Another thing in our culture is that when a girl reaches puberty and has her first menstrual cycle --- the family will celebrate it w/friends and relatives. It happens in Hindu families b/c it's part of their tradition. Not all Indians do that though.


April 03, 2008 11:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The practice of neonatal circumscision is being looked into after somebody who was circumscised at birth filed a lawsuit when he reached adulthood.
He stated he did not consent to it LOL.

April 04, 2008 5:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Whoa! And that may just unleash a barrage of similar lawsuits, bertN ... hahaha!

However, on a more serious note, I've heard first hand from a Pinoy plastic surgeon of an infant whose penis was accidentally cut off during a neonatal circumcision procedure.

April 04, 2008 5:57 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you very much for enlightening us about your local culture's perspective on this matter, Kyels :)

Very much appreciated, indeed!

April 04, 2008 6:00 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Senor Enrique!

Kakatuwa naman itong post mo :) ang galeng may access ka sa PBB house. I watched only one episode.

Sayang sana pinapila ko yung pamangkin ko who just graduated from Elementary. My sister her mom was canvassing the hospitals how much it was-- Chinese Med 800 pesos but in Capitol near my sis house 3,000 pesos how can it be that expensive kaya? I noted that Capitol administered the one in PBB.

kung boy ako I would not look forward to this rite of passage hehehehe.

anyway thanks for sharing!

April 04, 2008 2:39 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

People started started to form a line at 1am, Daisy, and by 5am, the list list of 100 had already been filled up. Many more showed up afterwards but were no longer able to be accommodated by this free service.

800 pesos may not include the post operation medication, which according to some parents would entail another 400 pesos. Nonetheless, 3,000 pesos is a bit exorbitant. Whew!

Gone are the days when a barber's razor and a hammer would the trick, and then a quick jump into the river and some chewed guava leaves to soothe the the wound ... hehehe.

April 04, 2008 3:04 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Hm, ten years later and the cost of circumcision is still around P1000. If only that's the case with other medical procedures.

So you're against circumcision Señor E? I hear the uncut experience more sensations ;) But that's not the point of the act right? I'd be more concerned with the sensations I make my partner feel :D

April 13, 2008 4:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm not totally against circumcision. If I had it my way, the one to be circumcised should be of legal age to give his legal consent to undergo such body modification procedure.

April 13, 2008 7:03 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

Nothing beats the provincial style. :lol:
Bidahan pa pag nangamatis. Ahhh those were the days.
Nuong dinala ko sa San Lazaro yung pamangkin ko, nanglalamig until the doctor talk to him and with some jokes, ayos! Kaso ayun, maagang nag-asawa kaya nahihirapan sa dami ng anak ngayon.
I think you are right about certain age of a person before he commit to this sort of body mutilation/modification. Kasi after some studies, some researchers say that sex is much better for those who are not-circumcised.

Now they tell us.... :D

April 25, 2008 12:22 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I must thank you for your comments, Reyd, they make a wonderful and funny reading this Saturday morning as I sip my morning coffee :)

That was nice of the doctor who realized your nephew's fears and assuaged them. Yung doktor ko nuon walang pakialam ... hehehe.

April 26, 2008 7:20 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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